Encouraging children and teens to read

By MARSHA LLOYD, Ridgecrest Branch Librarian

The following article gives some background on our summer reading programs for children, teens and adults. It also points out the importance of summer reading for students. Our program encourages children and teens to read at their reading level and choose books that interest them.

The Ridgecrest Branch library is among public libraries across the state ready to show California kids that “Reading Is So Delicious!”

Public library summer reading programs encourage and enable children and teens to read during the summer break. Libraries across the state will provide youth with books, reading goals and incentives, and an enriching summer of food-based programs, crafts and activities to enhance their reading experience — all free of charge.

“Public library summer reading programs are an integral part of the fight against summer learning loss in California,” said California Library Association President Derek Wolfgram. “They encourage youth to set and meet reading goals, provide youth with opportunities for free, voluntary reading, offer activities that enrich the reading experience and create communities of readers and library users.”

A vast body of research shows that students who lack access to summer learning opportunities risk suffering “summer learning loss” — a loss in academic skills and knowledge during the summer that sets them back academically and contributes to increased student dropout rates.

However, research also shows that reading just five books during the summer, and reading self-selected books, can help prevent summer learning loss in children and teens.

The California Library Association coordinates the statewide summer reading program. Each year, CLA provides California’s public libraries with prepackaged, theme-based summer reading materials and training to enable them to provide high-quality summer reading programs at the lowest cost possible.

CLA’s summer reading materials are developed in partnership with the Illinois Library Association’s iREAD program.

The U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services support the California Summer Reading Program under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian. More information is available at www.cla-net.org.

For more information about the Ridgecrest Branch Library, located at 131 E. Las Flores Ave.nue, call 760- 384-5870, or visit www.kern

countylibrary.org/HTML/about/branch/rid.html.

Story First Published: 2013-06-12